​​Minimizing Cyber Supply Chain Risks through Effective Vendor Selection.

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As a business owner, it’s crucial to prioritize supply chain security through careful vendor selection.

Choose vendors that are committed to implementing best-in-class defense measures. Supply chain attacks can exploit weaknesses within your supply chain to infiltrate systems and cause harm to your business and reputation.

You must always strive to select vendors with a track record of consistency in their security efforts. While no system is completely secure, certain vendors demonstrate a superior commitment to excellence in security matters.

The vetting process must be a non-negotiable when selecting vendors. This review helps you identify potential security risks and ensures you collaborate with a vendor committed to protecting your business and your customers.

By thoroughly vetting potential vendors, you can avoid partnering with vendors that fail to meet your security needs and expectations.

Primary Considerations for the Vetting Process

There are several key considerations to keep in mind when vetting potential vendors:

Security Measures

You need to understand your vendors’ security measures before partnering with them. For that, you should have a conversation with them about their security protocols and procedures.

To keep your business safe, you should determine whether the vendor performs regular vulnerability scans, timely system updates, and multi-factor authentication. This will help you determine whether the vendor can meet all your security expectations and needs.

Security Certifications

Your vendor should be able to show certifications demonstrating compliance with industry security standards.

This is significant because these certifications prove that the vendor has been independently assessed and meets security standards.

Be wary of cybersecurity companies that have not been or are only infrequently assessed. If a company is resistant to the idea of having an onboard and/or ongoing review from an outside party, then that could be a negative sign.

Data Storage

How and where does a vendor store your data? You must understand the storage details of your sensitive data, whether it’s stored in the cloud, on-premises, or in another manner.

This is critical because it will help determine whether the vendor will manage your data carefully and safeguard it against potential breaches.

Above all else, cybercriminals want access to your company’s data. Your customers’ and employees’ sensitive personal information are locked up somewhere in a digital vault. Make sure that vault is as secure as possible.

Data Management

You must understand what will happen to your data if the partnership ends. Will it be deleted, stored for a while or transferred to another vendor?

Understanding whether third parties will have access to your data is critical. Just as you may outsource some tasks to a third-party vendor, they may outsource some tasks to a fourth-party vendor. It’s crucial to understand what they’ll be sharing.

Additionally, make sure that any employees at the vendor who may leave the company do not have access to the data after they depart. Keep the circle of people who manage your data tight and exclusive.

Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery (BCDR)

You have the right to know if your vendor has a Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery (BCDR) plan. This investment goes a long way in saving your business money—or even saving your business, period—in the event of a cybersecurity disaster or crisis.

Disaster Recovery (DR) ensures that your critical data and systems will be available and recoverable.

A good Business Continuity (BC) plan keeps your business operations running smoothly, even during a crisis.

Cyber Liability Insurance

With increasing cyberattacks and data breaches, you need to know if your vendor has cyber liability insurance. This insurance coverage will protect your business in the event of a worst-case scenario and will help ensure that your vendor can compensate you for any damages caused.

Understand that it can be hard for a company to qualify for cyber insurance. However, if a vendor has cyber liability insurance, that can be a sign that it meets good security standards.

How an IT Service Provider Can Help

Choosing the right vendor can be daunting, especially if you are trying to do it independently. It requires thorough research, careful consideration of all relevant factors and a clear understanding of your security needs and expectations. This is where an IT service provider like us can help.

Matrix Integration can assist in minimizing cyber supply chain risks by evaluating and addressing vulnerabilities within your supply chain. We can also help manage vendor relationships and ensure that you collaborate with vendors that meet your security standards.

To guide you through evaluating potential vendors, we have created a checklist titled “Manage Supply Chain Risks With These Strategies.” If you want to ensure the security of your business, consider downloading it and reaching out for a consultation.

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